Worst Idea of the Decade: Waiving Jiri Hudler

The happyclearyBleacher Report is sort of the black hole of sports blogs.  I’m not really sure how it works or who writes for them, but they sure aren’t part of the normal blogging community. Still fun for a quick read here and there.  Until this. 

Waiving Jiri Hudler May Prove More Sensible Than Playing Him

Now before his escape to the land of mail-order brides, strange wooden dolls which fit inside each other (you know Hudler has a corner of his house dedicated to these) and the iron fist of communism, Happy was my favorite Wing.  Since then, I’ve made the murderous transitition to Toddzilla, but I still always will have a place in my heart for the little hooker-loving Czech.  So Matt, you’re already behind the eight ball on this one.  Go on, tell me why Hudler should be waived.  

However, aside from a single goal and four assists, Hudler’s scoring talent, established in his prior season with Detroit, has been nonexistent this season. Combine that lack of production with the outstanding efforts of Miller and Eaves, when they’re actually in the lineup, and the continued practice of playing Hudler in lieu of one of the other two is looking less and less sensible. 

So Matt, I agree, we do have a wealth of riches right now and Miller and Eaves have clearly deserved to stay in the lineup.  No question about that, nor Happy’s slow start to the year.  Our little midget-pimp has been struggling to get comfortable out there.  Continue on Matt: 

So, why is Mike Babcock, a notoriously sensible coach, operating contrary to his nature?

Well, a lot of it has to do with that $2.875 million…While there is no guarantee that a player’s salary will match his performance, it’s tough not to try and make that become a reality by putting him on the ice as much as possible. GMs don’t like to see close to $3 million sitting in the press box, even if their play suggests that’s just where they belong

And here’s where the argument first becomes a complete logical and spiritual failure.  
Holland doesn’t like to see $3 million in the press box?  I’m sure he doesn’t.  But I’m even more sure that he would never interfere with the decisions of the coaches just to make himself look better.  I’m insulted for Mr. Holland for your ignorant and useless comment.  

And Babcock knows what he’s doing.  Not even considering the fact its been only 16 games, Happy has always been a streaky player.  When he’s off, he’s non-existent.  When he’s on, he can score goals quicker than Jiri can get a lady to accompany him for the night in Vegas. 

Hudler also isn’t competing for time directly with Miller or, to a slightly lessor extent, Eaves.  As great as we all think Miller and Eaves have been this year (and they have), they have 3 and 5 points respectively.  They aren’t goal scorers, they are 4th line grinders.   Happy scored 57 points two years ago.  Miller hasn’t scored that in his career.  

Winning teams have three lines that can score and a fourth line that will grind the hell out of you, and maybe put one or two in here and there.  Last year we failed not because our top players didn’t score, but rather our second, third and even fourth lines didn’t provide the offense we needed.  Hudler makes the third line a scoring line.  Miller doesn’t.  

Obviously, placing Hudle (sic) on waivers means he could be picked up by another team.  Now, while many will start twitching and breaking out into a cold sweat as visions of Ville Leino fill their heads….Last season, Leino, like Hudler now, was given multiple chances to catch fire in Detroit, and it never happened. We can’t very well say that it never would have happened; he might have been ready to break out in Detroit like he did with Philadelphia in the playoffs…

The same could happen with Hudler. He might very well go gangbusters on another squad, but how does that make enduring his impotent play at the expense of others who have proved to be potent contributors a sensible option?

Now, I didn’t agree with the Leino decision when it happened, but getting rid of Hudler is nothing like that.  Leino was an unproven rookie who not only seemed like he had a bad attitude, but clearly struggled to fit in the Wings system.   Hudler is a proven scorer who the Wings’s brass likes and fits in with the team well.  And most of all, Leino was given till March to get his act together, yet Hudler should only get 16 games into a tough season?  Makes total sense, you genious.  

Were he claimed by another team, the Wings would still be on the hook for half of his salary, but their cap space would increase considerably, leaving open the possibility of acquiring more depth by the trade deadline.

Tell me what young forward the Wings would be able get who could score 60 points in a season for that $1.3 million we would save?  Exactly.  

Alternatively, Hudler may in fact clear waivers. And honestly, this might be the best scenario of all.

No Matt, he wouldn’t.  Zero chance.  Every Wings castoff gets claimed.  Especially 60 point scorers only making $2.8M per year.  It isn’t even worth continuing on your reasoning here.  It doesn’t happen.  Even if Holland has Jiri’s name legally changed to Jibbles McDoucherson, waives him in the middle of the night and proceeds to kidnapped Gary Bettman, place him in some crazy deranged Saw XI contraption until he gets rid of the salary cap, all of which is broadcast to the other GM’s through Youtube, Hudler still gets claimed by another team.  

So in conclusion Matt, Happy is our midget pimp and he isn’t going anywhere other than to a parade this June.